Cambodian Circus in Siem Reap

Phare, The Cambodian Circus.

Siem Reap has a new “must see” attraction. The Big Red Big Top in the outskirts of the city hosts nightly performances from Phare, The Cambodian Circus. What is it? Why is it? Here is more.

Uniquely Cambodian.

The shows tell stories. These touch on themes strong in Cambodian tradition, ethos and spirit. A modern ghost story – many Cambodians are petrified of ghosts. A run-away boy – abused by his mother, ignored by his drunken father – tragically too real in Cambodia. A man shunned because of a disability, wreaks revenge, until the whole situation gets out of hand. These are Cambodian stories. The music is Cambodian, the artists are Cambodian. It is unique.

Daringly Modern.

This is not traditional circus. The skills are daring. Contortion, juggling, acrobatics, balancing mix with dance, modern and traditional theatre. The treatment is modern. The art scene in Cambodia is new. Everything about this circus is new, modern, daring. Will the acrobat make the jump to the top of the tower? Let’s see.

It pulls the emotions.

You laugh, you are amazed by the skills, you “ooh” and “ahh”. There are sad moments, frightening moments, great moments and great joy. Emotion – a strong theme in the shows. Some of the shows are offered by students – you are stunned by their youth and enthusiasm, how much they have learned. Some by seasoned professionals – here you are dazzled by the proficiency of the performers.

Phare Ponleu Selpak was formed 20 years ago by 8 young men coming home from a refugee camp after the Khmer Rouge regime. They were greatly helped by art therapy and wanted to share this new skill among the poor, socially deprived and troubled youngsters in Battambang. They founded an art school. A public school followed to offer free education. A music school and theatre school were next and finally, for the kids who wanted more, the circus school. Today more than 1,200 pupils attend the public school daily and 500 attend the alternative schools. Phare Ponleu Selpak also has extensive outreach programmes, trying to help with the problems highlighted in their own tales.

Phare The Cambodian Circus offers these students and graduates somewhere to hone their skills and somewhere to earn a decent wage. Money that will take them out of poverty and give them self-respect and freedom.

Daily performances start at 7.30pm – Gates open at 7.00pm
Every effort will be made to ensure the accuracy of the show schedule. However, we reserve the rights to make updates and amendments when necessary.

Rates for show only 1 hour 15 mns:

Seat Section A: 38USD per adult, including a gift from Phare boutique.
Seat Section A: 18USD per child (5 to 11), including a gift from Phare boutique.
Seat Section B: 28USD per adult.
Seat Section B: 15USD per child (5 to 11).
Seat Section C: 18USD per adult.
Seat Section C: 10USD per child (5 to 11).
Validity 01 Jan 2018 – 31 Dec 2019

Check the public rates here

Seating categories:

– Section A: Reserved seat in the front 3 rows, middle section. Includes bottle of cold water and small gift from Phare Boutique.
– Section B: Open seating in the last 3 rows of the middle section.
– Section C: Open seating in the two side sections. Some seats have partially obstructed views due to support poles.

Phare Café offers you a “Night at the Circus” experience with dinner and a show at Phare, The Cambodian Circus.

Delicious 3 course set dinner menus are available for dining before or after the show. There are many choices of Vegetarian meals available with a wide range of drinks and snacks. Please inquire


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